Minority-owned businesses are growing at a staggering rate in the U.S. They now represent over 33% of small businesses. This should come as no surprise to people in the market research industry as, demographically, the country has been changing for the past several decades.
And because of this, as researchers, we know that we should be incorporating Minority Business sample into our sample-only studies.But many studies have failed to quota for them resulting in lost opportunities and diminished returns for clients due to skewed data.
It is now a common practice for B2C research studies to have the correct proportion of minority sample for each study, but there has been a lag in B2B research for adopting this nationally representative approach. Revenue quotas, number of employees, and verticals are common quotas yet they leave out arguably one of the most critical components, ethnicity of owners.
Minority business owners face ethnic-specific challenges as they start and grow their businesses. As a result, there is a significant opportunity for minority B2B products and services to help address these needs. However, if they aren’t represented in the research, minority B2B companies can not contribute to the solutions because they haven’t been made aware of the problems.
This is where we can make a difference. Sample providers are often seen as a vendor and not a partner because we are typically not in direct contact with the client. However, we are a critical component of the research as the respondents are at the crux of the research. As the saying goes; junk data in – junk data out. We ensure the integrity of the data.
As a sample provider, we have the responsibility of educating our clients in proper sampling methodologies and distributions. This includes determining accurate quotas for minority businesses as leaving these quotas out paints an unrealistic view of the business landscape.
What does that picture look like? Here are some basic facts* about minority-owned businesses that help illustrate the importance of including Minority Business sample in your next B2B study:
*U.S. Census Bureau 2007 and 2012 survey of business owners
These numbers are impressive and the B2B sample industry should be aware of them and what they mean for their clients’ research needs.
So the next time you field a B2B study, take a look to see if there are any minority business owner quotas. If there aren’t, your client could be missing one-third of the picture.